The leaf and stem mines of British flies and other insects

(Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera)

by Brian Pitkin, Willem Ellis, Colin Plant and Rob Edmunds


Phyllonorycter quinqueguttella (Stainton, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Sandhill Midget

Lithocolletis quinqueguttella Stainton, 1851. Cat. Brit. Tin. Suppl.: 12.
Phyllonorycter quinqueguttella
(Stainton, 1851).

Leaf-miner: The larva feeds in a blotch on the underside of the leaf, which contracts and causes the leaf to pucker strongly. The mine is quite large and can occupy most of a leaf (UKMoths).

Lower-surface tentiform mine, that in small leaves can occupy the entire underside. The mine does contract strongly, folding the leaf, sometimes causing it to become tube-like. Lower epidermis with many fine folds. Frass packed in the opposite corner (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in British leafminers.

Larva: The larvae of moths have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding), six thoracic legs and abdominal legs (see examples).

The yellow larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

The pupa is illustrated in British leafminers.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Salix arenaria Sandhill Creeping Willow   British leafminers
Salix arenaria Sandhill Creeping Willow   UKMoths
Salix repens Creeping Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Salix repens Creeping Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Salix repens Creeping Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Salix repens Creeping Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Salix repens Creeping Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July and September to October (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Two generations, flying in May and again in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A relatively local and uncommon species, distributed mainly in the coastal counties around the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Dorset, Durham, East Norfolk, Glamorgan, Huntingdonshire, Kirkudbrightshire, North Devon, North Northumberland, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, West Cornwall, West Nofolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas) and North-East Yorkshire (British leafminers). See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea and National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia Central, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine ( Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Salix repens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Achrysocharoides zwoelferi (Delucchi, 1954) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Hemiptarsenus fulvicollis Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gregori Boucek, 1959 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor nanus (Reinhard, 1880) Braconidae: Microgastrinae

External links: Search the internet:

Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist

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Last updated 18-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page